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Hi, I'm new and I need help. My cat is a diabetic.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My cat Ripclaw has been in the last few days diagnosed as a Diabetic. Last week, he was vomiting food and water, and has lost any interest in eating period. We rushed him to the vet, where they said he was severely dehydrated. While ultimately, we were able to save him, he still has no interest in eating, and force feeding him is stressful on both ends of the spectrum.

Not only that, but he hides from us because he's afraid of us having to force feed him. I do not have any desire to look like the enemy, I just want my cat to be healthy.

We've tried putting the food in front of him, we've tried wrapping him in a towel so we can hold him down and feed him, and we've also tried the appetite stimulant that the vet gave us to make him hungry, but he still will not eat, and I'm toiling away trying to find info as to how to get him to do it. I'm still comin' up short.

If there is anyone that can help me, or offer any kind of suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 15
I feel your pain, literally.

My cat needs medicine twice a week. I am now nursing my shredded hand. She knows when I am preparing the syringe (liquid oral medicine) and runs away. Once I get her, I have to wrestle her down and pry open her mouth. We are both stressed. Any suggestions would be welcome. (Not meaning to hijack your thread, but we have similar issues).
post #3 of 15
Ask the vet about appetite stimulents ... If memory serves my CRF girls was actually an antihistimine
post #4 of 15
What are you doing to regulate your cat ? When he feels better he will want to eat more....pls check out this site

http://www.felinediabetes.com/
post #5 of 15
I am also wondering about what you're doing to treat the diabetes. If cats don't feel well they won't eat, if they don't eat they get much sicker, very quickly. Your cat needs to eat and force feeding him might be the only way until you get him feeling better, even though you look like the enemy now your cat will forgive you. I had to force feed my cat for almost 4 months (she is better now, healthy and happy 2 years later and forgave me). So get a syringe, blend wet food with warm water, and feed your baby (wrapped up in a towel or whatever) 1ml at a time, and up to 30 ml per session.
post #6 of 15
My cat is diabetic also, and I got a real eye-opener when I started researching foods I can give her when she started refusing to eat the vet-prescribed food (both the hills and the other one, forget the name) which is for diabetic cats specifically. Here is a snippet from www.catinfo.org:
(the reason I am posting this is because I wish I had known about this when I first found out my cat was diabetic - the food you give your cat will have a major impact on how much the diabetes will take a toll on her overall health)

Contrary to what is often believed, many, if not all, of the so-called prescription diets sold in veterinary hospitals are not formulated for optimal health of a carnivore. Many of these products contain corn, wheat, and soy which have no logical place in your cat's diet and these diets are often very high in carbohydrates. Many of them also contain by-products as the main - and often only - source of protein. It is also important to note that Hill’s – the maker of Science Diet – continues to use extremely questionable preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin in many of their products. Other companies have abandoned the practice of using these chemicals as preservatives – opting for more natural and safer methods. Unfortunately, many veterinarians are very poorly educated in the area of nutrition. Too often their recommendations are taken from the pet food industry which does not always have your cat’s best interest in mind when formulating their products. In most instances, you will be paying far more money than you should be for the low quality ingredients that many of these prescription products contain.
post #7 of 15
Great information from MissMyra. Diet is extremely important for diabetic cats and can make a big difference in their condition.

Have you begun treating for the diabetes?

Regarding the "force-feeding" - the first thing you have to do is call it "assist feeding" instead! You're not forcing Ripclaw to eat, you're helping him to eat when he can't or won't do it on his own. If you feel you are "forcing" food on your cat, your heart won't be in it, and certainly your cat won't be happy. Look at it as a technique that will help Ripclaw get over this rough patch. It's a loving and responsible thing to do and there are ways to make it less stressful for both of you.

For example, you don't always have to wrap your cat in a towel which is how I started out doing assist feeding, too. My cat was very unhappy whenever it was feeding time and would struggle to get away. My catsitter, who is also a vet tech, suggested I just let my cat walk around the bathroom, which is where we do the feeding. Turns out my cat was more stressed about being confined in a towel than she was about the actual feeding. Letting her walk around between bites removed the stress and let her feel like she had some control over the situation. We've been doing it that way ever since.

Take a look at www.assistfeed.com
It's an extremely helpful site. I referred to it often when I first started assist-feeding. On the left side of the page that comes up, click on Feline Anorexia and Assist Feeding. There will be some good information to read through.

Back on the home page, if you scroll to the bottom, you can can click on a link that will allow you to join the Yahoo Assist Feeding Group. It's a very supportive group that will be able to answer your questions.

Appetite stimulants take a couple of days to work, but unfortunately they don't work for all cats. You could ask your vet about Vitamin B-12 shots. They will sometimes jump start the appetite.

Best of luck to you and Ripclaw. Hopefully, he'll feel better soon and begin eating on his own again. Please let us know how he's doing.
post #8 of 15
The only thing I would suggest is that, as with humans and their health care providers, please keep your vet totally in the loop should you decide to change diets or add supplements to your cat's diet. They really need to have a list of anything that the cat is eating - too often people think if something is labeled 'organic' or 'natural' or 'holistic', it can only be good - but there can be interactions that can be harmful.

I would be especially cautious about moving off a prescription food without discussing, in detail, alternatives and timing of the change with your vet. Diabetes can be managed, as with humans, but I believe you need to work in tandem with your vet - and diet is a key when dealing with diabetes (human or feline).

Good luck.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey guys. Ironically enough, at 5:30 in the morning, he started to eat on his own. It was dry food, which he's not really supposed to have, but the vet said that if that's what he's eating, then let him eat it. I'm thankful because that whole force feeding thing was stressful.

But thanks everyone for the help.
post #10 of 15
Please keep us updated about his evolution....
Welcome to TCS...
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
The only thing I would suggest is that, as with humans and their health care providers, please keep your vet totally in the loop should you decide to change diets or add supplements to your cat's diet. They really need to have a list of anything that the cat is eating - too often people think if something is labeled 'organic' or 'natural' or 'holistic', it can only be good - but there can be interactions that can be harmful.

I would be especially cautious about moving off a prescription food without discussing, in detail, alternatives and timing of the change with your vet. Diabetes can be managed, as with humans, but I believe you need to work in tandem with your vet - and diet is a key when dealing with diabetes (human or feline).

Good luck.
thank you very much for posting this. Prescription foods are developed for specific health conditions and are prescribed by the vet to treat or maintain these conditions.

I recently tried to switch a special needs cat from a prescription food to a "high quality premium" food which made big claims about how it prevented my cat's very condition because it's ingredients were so great.

I was in contact with my vet while doing this. She was not thrilled with what I was doing but stood by in case I needed help. Within two months my cat's condition had deteriorated drastically.

She will remain on the prescription food for life now. Yes, her coat is not as glossy as it was on the the designer food. But her health and life are more important.

There is an exception of course. Sometimes it's more important that they EAT, than what they eat. Starving to death, of course, is worse than eating the wrong food.
post #12 of 15
food. A diabetic cat should not have dry. I have had two diabetic cats. One I lost because the vet never told me to take him off dry. My cat now only eats Fancy Feast canned. (certain flavors only). You can find diabetic food lists on www.yourdiabeticcat.com, or just google it. Hope your cat does well. Diabetes is not a death sentence. My cat Goofy is thriving with his insulin and a good diet. Good luck.
post #13 of 15
I'm suprised the vet said it was ok for him to eat dry.....carbs are very bad for a diabetic cat...are u testing his BG at home ? My cats bg would spike after he would get into any dry food...There are several canned food suitable for diabetic cats out there....
post #14 of 15
If I read it right, the vet didn't say dry is preferred, or even that this kitty is supposed to have it, but if the cat is eating the dry, after not eating anything, to go with it for the moment.

There are times when it's more important that someone (or some cat) eats, than what the food is. You can always adjust later, but severe loss of appetite isn't good at all, and you just want to get something into the tummy in the short term - and adjust glucose levels as needed.
post #15 of 15
I think if the only thing Ripclaw will eat is dry, then you have to let him have it. It's better than no nutrition at all. But then eventually you'll want to get him on an "all wet food" diet because the carbs in dry food are unhealthy for a diabetic cat (and all cats, really).
If your cat will eat the vet prescribed wet food, I'm sure it's fine, but because my cat went on a hunger strike against it I had to find an alternative. She does well on Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys shredded fare.
If anyone knows of other non-prescription foods for diabetic cats please let me know.
Thanks!
Myra
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